rating: 4 of 5 stars On the whole I was very surprised to find that this story was much more compelling than Meyer's Twilight series. The writing is better, the story more cohesive and the characters even more intriguing.
The premise: Earth is being over taken by parasites using humans as their host. What happens when the humans fight back?
The main character Melanie/Wanderer is complex, smart, entertaining, and compelling. The supporting characters are also well written and dynamic. In the end I got much more than I expected despite the slow start. Well worth the time to read it.
I remember every little thing
As if it happened only yesterday
Parking by the lake
And there was not another car in sight And I never had a girl
Looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school
They were wishing they were me that night
And now our bodies are oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we're glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife
C'mon! Hold on tight!
C'mon! Hold on tight!
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light
Oh wait. Not that Meat Loaf. This meatloaf.
I'm not generally a meatloaf fan. There's something about ground beef pressed into a bread shape that doesn't sit well with me. But Chris likes it so what's a girl to do besides find a recipe that we both will eat. So I searched and searched and tried recipes over and over and eventually I found one that is okay and I messed with until I like it. So here it is. If I do say so myself, it's fabulous.
This makes enough food for a small herd of people so you'll have tons of leftovers.
1 pound ground beef 1 pound ground pork 3 medium carrots, grated 1 medium to large zucchini, grated 1 medium to large onion, chopped small 5 cloves garlic chopped small (optional) 1 tbsp vegetable oil 2 eggs, beaten salt and pepper hot sauce (Tabasco) soy sauce 3 slices of bread 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs ketchup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large edged cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
In a saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, zucchini and garlic. Cook 5 to 10 minutes until softened. Cool.
In a large bowl (huge really) add beef, pork, eggs, cooked and cooled vegetables, salt, pepper, a dash of hot sauce to taste, and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Mix gently using hands.
Soak slices of bread in cold water, wring out carefully. As you add the bread to the meat mixture tear it up into small pieces. Add bread crumbs. Mix with hands gently.
Form mixture into a loaf shape on cookie sheet. Spread with ketchup.
Wow, it was a busy weekend and I shall ramble about it. What initially was supposed to be a quiet relaxing weekend morphed it's way into being loads of work (mostly for Chris). After a late breakfast and few hours of just hanging out Chris announced he was going to rent a verticutter. Uncharacteristically for me, I was on board. I usually toss a wary glance in his direction at such declarations as they usually end with 3/4 finished projects and messes for me to clean up.
Making a quick escape while I was doing dishes, Chris runs out after grass seed and fertilizer, comes back with those and a Halloween costume for Ben - voluntary shopping of any kind is odd. Must have been motivated by the threat of Ben having to wear one of Evey's old costumes. An hour later we are unloading the verticutter. Did you know those things weigh about 200 lbs? After just about dislocating my shoulder and cutting off a toe we got the thing out the car, my determination being fuelled by the fact that I wanted the bumper of my car to stay silver.
Commence cutting. I watched Chris be tossed around the yard push the verticutter around the yard. Looked like really hard work. Evey and I did laundry, 1000 loads of laundry, and made banana bread while Ben took a nap. After being thrashed around the yard by the devil machine he came in collapsed in a heap on the floor. I gave Evey the task of torturing him until he sat up - she has a way with tickling that usually ends with him getting kicked in the junk. That is a good motivator. I snuck outside to wrestle the hose into submission and set up the sprinkler. Not all that astonishingly it took me a good 20 minutes to figure out how to water the parts of the yard I wanted instead of the house and the neighbors yard.
Upon reentering the house I saw a freshly showered and revived Chris. We shuttled the kids off to his parents so we could sneak out for dinner and a movie. We found the best Mexican restaurant in all of KC quite by accident and then wandered off to see Burn After Reading. HYSTERICAL. And a tad bit disturbing. If you liked anything else by the Coen brothers this does not disappoint. Clooney is brilliant as the slightly off womanizing Harry Pfarrer. John Malkovich plays his usual angry, violent, astonoshing prolific with curse words character. Brad Pitt - oh, my word, is hysterical. Frances McDormand is quirky and funny. The writing is great. The plot is unique. The ending is the best ending to a movie I have seen in awhile. Well worth the $10 ticket.
Sunday...more laundry, watering the lawn, a trip to the mall, a hockey game....a generally perfect non-descript day was much needed after Saturday.
***disclaimer*** I'm going to talk politics for a moment so I can get this out of my system. Sorry.
After watching last night's debate I was left in a daze by one bit of commentary I heard by the CNN annalists afterward.
"Palin performed much better than the Republican's expected her to."
Because she was bad and annoying (um, can you say nucular). Quite frankly that is the most insulting and ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Because the way I see it if they were expecting her to do worse than that I think they might want to set the bar a little higher. Not to mention what that statement says about the Republican agenda for adding her to the ticket is appauling. And ballsy in a stupid, arrogant way.
My main observation of the night - she's George W. Bush in high heels, a pencil skirt and lipstick.
I am so very sorry that I have been ignoring you. I am negligent and a horribly neglectful blogger. And to everyone else blog I read....um yeah, I can't post on my own so I definitely haven't gotten around to reading yours.
I promise to do better. Later. Right now I have yonder to do list that has to be finished first. (Especially the parts including food and clothing, if not we may be eating cardboard and Chris may have to go without his skivvies to work tomorrow.)
I have a to read list a mile long it seems. I'm finding new reading material faster than I can get through what I already have. Life is currently motoring by at a neck breaking pace and I scarcely have time to read more than Goodnight Moon and If You Give a Moose a Muffin each day.
Over our past weeks of illness I did manage to dig up and finish Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. It was good. Very good. It was slow to start but picked up pace in the middle with compelling lead characters with an interesting dynamic. More than any of that though it did pose some very thought provoking questions about the struggle of being a parent. Without ruining the plot I can't say much but it is a good read. And one of the only Picoult books that didn't disappoint me on the last page.
Here's whats on my immediate to read list:
A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger Wicked, Gregory Maguire The Friday Night Knitting Club, Kate Jacobs The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis (I never did read these as a kid)
The beautiful, shimmering, clarity at the end of the tunnel. The crisp edge of a day that starts without a headache. The twinkle of laughter and the wonder of giggling not marred by the low whir of ears clogged with lord only knows what. The amazing tartness of an apple that slides down my throat without the slightest hint of pain.
I see it.
Okay so that was cute and full of all sorts of fancy verbal illustrations. I have recovered from a cold that I have to honestly tell you was slightly worse that child birth. Really. I can eat, and breathe, and talk, and hear, and swallow like a normal human again. And it's amazing.
Since we have the sickies around here this week I thought I would post tonight's dinner as it's the only thing that sounds good to my currently dilapidated taste-buds.
I sorta threw this together one night after seeing someone at work with something similar. I checked out a few chicken soup recipes, took out the stuff I hate, added some things I like and voila.
4 frozen chicken breast (smallish to medium - use less if they are huge)
1 small onion
(if you felt you had to you could add celery but I hate it so I don't add it)
4 cans chicken stock
1 12 oz package frozen Rheams noodles
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp veggie oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the chicken on a foil lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking heat the oil in a large heavy bottom dutch oven over medium heat. Chop the onions and carrots to what ever size you like - I chop ours relatively small so they cook faster. Add to the oil and saute until soft. Add salt and pepper. Add 3 of the cans of chicken stock and thyme. Raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
When the chicken finishes cooking dice into bite sizes an add to soup. Add noodles, return to boil and cook 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes add the corn and peas. (At this point if it seems like it needs more liquid add the other can of stock and heat through - this is a personal preference thing I think.) Serve with corn bread or other crusty bread.
Yummy. :D (I'll add pictures later once I get it made.)